Polluted county streams to blame for City’s drinking water contamination

Front page Polluted Source WaterIn 2013 City of Frederick tap water violated federal health standards for carcinogenic chlorination byproducts Three of the 8 official sampling sites had contaminant levels above what is considered safe for drinking.  This health hazard is a result of polluted source water (streams, rivers, lake); it is not due to any deficiency on the part of the Frederick City water treatment. Frederick County has a history of polluted surface water, Frederick City has a history of tap water contamination from the chemicals used to clean the polluted water. The two are naturally linked.

A review of  tap water test results submitted to the State of Maryland by Frederick City  reveal widespread contamination of city tap water with dangerous levels of chlorination by-products.  During the water treatment process chlorine mixes with organic material in the water (soil/sediment) and forms disinfectant byproducts (DBPs) that are known to cause adverse health effectsand are regulated as carcinogens.  Two of the most well-studied DBPs, Trihalomethanes (THMs) and Haloacetic Acids (HAAs) are found in Frederick City’s drinking water posing a potential health risk to Frederick City residents.   The Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for safe drinking water established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is 80 parts per billion (ppb) for THMs and 60 ppb for HAAs.   Read full report here.

Results from a Public Information Act request to the Maryland Department of the Environment for Frederick City water sampling data between 2011-2014 revealed that:

  • 22% of the 83 samples collected had greater than the 60 ppb safe drinking water standard (MCL) for HAA
  • 8 % of the 83 samples collected had greater than the 80 ppb safe drinking water standard (MCL) for THM.
  • 42% of the 83 samples collected had greater than 40 ppb HAA, which is below the MCL yet still in the range associated with health risks like small for gestational age babies when exposed during 3rd trimester
  • 11 % of the 83 samples collected had greater than 60 ppb THM, which is below the MCL yet still in the range associated with health risks like birth defects, bladder cancer, stillbirth and small for gestational age babies

These contaminants are the result of organic material in the water reacting with chlorine products used to treat it.  The higher the levels of organic pollution in the source water the more difficult it is to treat, and the higher the levels of chlorinated bi-products that are typically found in treated tap water

MAP Frederick_Monitoring

Lake Linganore and Lower Linganore Creek provide 42.4% of the total surface water sourced for Frederick City’s drinking water .  Current erosion levels at the Lake are 5 times the state standard, clearly contributing to Frederick city’s tap water contamination problem.  In 2007 the Gardner Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) strengthened the county’s protective stream buffer ordinance so that it reflected the scientific recommendations to protect our source waters, streams and wetlands.  In 2013 the Young BOCC reversed that and weakened the county’s protective stream buffer ordinance substantially.  Moreover the Young BOCC has approved rezoning 1346 acres for residential development in the Lower Linganore Creek drainage, with 913 additional acres on the agenda for approval this summer.  Minimizing stream protection and adding additional pollution to Frederick City’s source water will make a problem that is already five times worse than it should be  – even worse for the City.  And, we should expect higher levels of these carcinogenic treatment by-products in Frederick City water.MAP-  Development Plans Including Monrovia

It is worth noting that the safe drinking water standard (MCL) is based on an annual average; Frederick water violated this limit at 3 of 8 sampling sites in 2013. But shorter-term, legal spikes above the MCL, like those mentioned above, may also be associated with serious health consequences, especially during pregnancy.  The given percentages above don’t mean illegally high levels, however the spikes, which may be short-term and legal, could still be harmful.

 

 

 

Free trees – fact sheets and planting guides

Citizens concerned with water quality, your drinking water, land use

and the environment are sharing trees.

Please donate to our  Healthy Streams Frederick County campaign!   Learn about the trees and what environmental conditions they like.

River Birch

River Birch

River Birch Fact Sheet and Planting Guide

Redosier Dogwood
Fact Sheet and Planting GuideRedosier Dogwood

 

 

 

 

 

Silky Dogwood

Silky Dogwood

Silky DogwoodSilky DogwoodSilky Dogwood Fact Sheet and Planting Guide

Eastern Red Bud

Eastern Redbud

Eastern Red Bud

 

 

 

Fact Sheet and Planting Guide

 

 

 

White Pine

White Pine 

Fact Sheet and Planting Guide

 

CLEANWATER_LINGANORE, Inc forms to put stream health in Linganore on red alert!

Email the group at info@cleanwater-linganore.org

FINAL CLEANWATER_LINGANORE (1)

 

FINAL CLEANWATER_LINGANORE (2)

9/5/13 Glendening sees discrepancy between houses we are building and the type buyers want

Governor Glendening described exactly what FoFC has been saying.  The infrastructure needs for a community that is more dense and walkable is less.  And that there is a disconnect between what will sell and what we are building in Frederick County.  FoFC inserted the photos below (they are not part of the FNP article).

Glendening describes mismatch between housing supply, demand

By Bethany Rodgers News-Post Staff | Posted: Thursday, September 5, 2013 2:00 am

The American dream is changing, and community design must keep up with it, former Maryland Gov. Parris Glendening told a Frederick group Wednesday.

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Downtown Frederick City, a place to live, work and play.

In a talk focused on smart growth, Glendening said an increasing number of people are eschewing large, single-family houses in the suburbs and instead settling in dense, walkable communities. However, there’s a growing disconnect between the types of housing people want and what’s available on the market, he said.

“Keeping our downtowns strong and keeping our communities economically vibrant in the long term will require a different approach to growth than we have been doing for the last 60 years,” he said during the event at Frederick City Hall.

Two population trends are driving changes in the types of housing people want. For one thing, the nation’s senior population is on the rise, and by the year 2030, almost one in five Americans will be older than 65, Glendening said. Increasingly, older Americans are less inclined to head to Florida or a nursing home upon retirement and are more interested in aging in place. Seniors are now looking for communities where they wouldn’t have to drive and where they’re near stores, activities and health care services.

A large millennial population, made up of people between the ages of 18 and 30, is also shaping the housing needs of the future, Glendening said. These people are starting families later and are driving less, he said. The millennial generation tends to like small-lot homes or attached dwellings that are close to their workplaces and served by transit systems.

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Demand is waning for this typical strip mall in a non-walkable community.

In addition, rather than choosing their place of residence based on a job, an increasing number of these individuals are selecting the communities they like and then seeking employment in those areas.  Read the story…

Register NOW to adopt a grid – 4 hours/year of volunteer time ONLY

DOWNLOAD REGISTRATION FORM HERE!

It’s easy, it’s fun, it’s relaxing and only requires 4 hours of your time each year.  Moreover the help you give IS SO VERY IMPORTANT to collective efforts of many people and organizations working to help clean up our waters in Frederick County.

There is cause for concern about our streams’ health in Frederick County.  You can help change that.  Please start now.

Read more.  REGISTER NOW!

Thank you.

8/24/13 FNP: New Market reconsiders annexation plans

 

New Market reconsiders

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read entire article here.

Is poorly planned growth what you wanted from your county leaders?

The Frederick County Commissioners have approved or are discussing approval of over 7000 new dwellings, in many cases without appropriate plans for schools, roads, emergency services and other key infrastructure. We believe that our public officials should follow existing laws; in a growing number of cases that is not happening.

FoFC is using the option of last resort to protect your quality of life: litigation. As recently quoted in the Frederick News Post “We turned to the courts after finding that citizen concerns were ridiculed and dismissed …These lawsuits will determine whether the county follows state law, whether growth proceeds at a reasoned pace that does not increase taxes, traffic, school overcrowding and water and air pollution.”over 7000 new dwellings proposed or approved

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FoFC is currently challenging:

* Crum and Thatcher (Frederick City north)

* New Market Municipal Growth Element in Maryland Court of Special Appeals(read letter from FoFC)

* Frederick City Comprehensive Plan in Frederick County Circuit Court

* Landsdale (Monrovia) at the Board of Appeals

* Landsdale Storm Water Management Administrative Waiver at the Board of Appeals, March 28, 2013 7pm

Landsdale in Frederick County Circuit Court

* Jefferson Technology Park at the Board of Appeals

* Frederick County’s 2012 Comprehensive Rezoning in the Frederick County Circuit Court

 

If school overcrowding is your concern, it is with good reason. Read this published letter from one Monrovia citizen who gives us the facts.

 

2/8/13 FoFC opposes Del Clagett’s bill that stifles taxpayer voice about development projects

Published: Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Frederick lawmaker’s bill would limit challenges to developer pacts

by Sherry Greenfield Staff writer

A state delegate wants to make it more difficult to undo binding agreements between developers and the Frederick Board of County Commissioners to build hundreds of new homes and businesses….

…“Should Del. Clagett characterize his bill as pro-business…[Friends of Frederick County] believes that pro-developer, developer-friendly, pro special interest or anti-Frederick County taxpayer would be a more accurate characterization of Del. Clagett’s bill,” Wiles said in an email.

Read the entire article here.

 

2/7/13 Citizen concerned with over-development in Frederick County, water pollution, crowded schools, trash and tax increases

 Already in trouble

Originally published February 07, 2013 in the Frederick News Post

I am dismayed to see that the Maryland Department of Planning reports that our county is allowing septic systems that will have an adverse effect on the Chesapeake Bay. The objection is land consumption and water pollution. So let’s look at the list of objections to over-development in Frederick County.Or schools are now using trailers and our roads are overcrowded. At 0600 hours on commute any day I-270 is doing 30 mph or slower at Md. 109. If septic systems are bad for the bay, I would presume that they would be worse for the local water supply, which I believe is not that great anyway. All the water runoff, the overuse of a limited water supply, and schools that are overcrowded already is too much to handle. Why are we building subdivisions? Where will the trash from all this go? In the incinerator we cannot afford?It seems the commissioners do not have the interest of the residents at heart. I thought there was no money. Do not be fooled, all this development will not come near to generating the money necessary to support all this activity. Taxes have to go up — really up.

 

WILLIAM DOLAN

Mount Airy

Gazette editorial: Pay now, or pay later for Frederick County development

Gazette editorial published on Thursday, January 24, 2013

Pay now, or pay later for Frederick County development

The scene is a familiar one in Maryland: a “bedroom” county with lots of available open space attracts developers who see dollar signs, while elected officials see an easy way to expand the tax base and pay for needed services.

On the other side, advocacy groups and residents who are worried about crowded roads and schools, and the possible higher taxes needed to improve both, draw a line in the sand to fight what they view as unfettered growth.

The developers and elected officials, with zoning law on their side, usually win in the end, with the developers getting rich, and the elected officials moving on to higher office. But years later, their legacy is sometimes urban sprawl that is virtually impossible to undo.

By then, the debate is about “smart growth” vs. “dumb growth,” or the need to impose a building moratorium because development has outstripped a jurisdiction’s ability to accommodate it with the needed infrastructure.

Thoughtful elected officials and residents who witnessed such a gradual erosion of the quality of life in their communities then ask, “How did we get here? What were they thinking a decade ago when they allowed this to happen?”

That crucial time when the future is decided is being played out in Frederick County here and now.  Read more…